5 Reasons Why Project Manager Experience is Key to Research Success

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An experienced project manager (PM) can make or break your market research project. And whether you are a new or an experienced marketing researcher, they can keep you from making inadvertent mistakes and help make your project more efficient. They are critical to the process and become a true partner in getting your project done – and keeping you looking good! And if you’re new to marketing research, they can be a mentor and help teach you the ropes.

Project managers are indeed the unsung heroes of the marketing research ecosystem. They toil away behind the scenes to bring your project to a successful conclusion, on time and on budget and deliver meaningful insights. But rarely do they get the credit they deserve for making your projects successful!

Many marketing research providers experience high turnover in Project Management. Not so with Reckner. Reckner’s Project Management Team has over 55 years of experience managing marketing research projects. Here are some reasons why having Reckner’s very experienced PMs shepherding your marketing research will deliver a better outcome and experience for you:

  1. Our Project Managers have seen it all. And with their lengthy tenure, that’s a lot! They are familiar with current trends and technologies, but they also have years of experience with traditional marketing research methods. That helps them keep everything in perspective and identify potential problems, from a difficult recruit to mistakes in the screener or questionnaire, to issues with respondent fatigue.
  2. Our Project Managers are consummate problem solvers. They can see both the big picture and the nitty-gritty. They understand that even the best plans can go awry and are adept at solving problems and putting out fires. Reckner’s project managers, because they have so much experience in their roles, can see the project as a whole while also proactively identifying and resolving any potential pain points in the details.
  3. Our Project Managers become your partner. They are dedicated to client success and want you to meet your goals with minimal stress and angst. So, it is no surprise that they strive to create a partnership to give clients peace of mind. Additionally, they learn your preferences (e.g., need for detailed information, communication, and time management preferences) so they can customize your experience to meet your needs with maximum comfort and efficiency.
  4. Our Project Managers work collaboratively. Our PMs have a ton of experience and have completed thousands of marketing research projects. Still, that knowledge increases exponentially because they work together to solve problems and achieve client goals.
  5. Our Project Managers are integral in designing and improving processes. Because the Project Managers really are the lynchpin to completing marketing research, we make sure they participate in decisions about how things get done at Reckner. They know everything that is going on and how to improve our processes for a better client – and respondent – experience. They help us be more efficient and effective.

For example, shipping is always critical for product tests and sometimes becomes a problem. Our Project Management Team know what to expect from a shipper, and they can proactively step in to prevent problems from developing. Whether getting the right products in the right condition or getting products delivered on time, our project managers can collaborate with shippers to make sure that happens. In many cases, our project managers have previously worked with shippers’ representatives and have developed mutually beneficial relationships that help the process run more smoothly.

Another area where project management is key is recruiting. As marketers become more knowledgeable about their customers, they increase the number of qualified respondents’ specifications. That can sometimes leave providers recruiting “needles in a haystack.” Experienced PMs have handled many of these types of challenging recruits and can proactively offer suggestions when they see that the recruit may not be successful. They understand how to maintain the integrity of the recruit while identifying alternative approaches to complete it.

Reckner’s project managers have experience with both qualitative and quantitative marketing research in many different industries using all of the currently available marketing research methods. They set the tone for each project we complete by taking an operational point of view and striving for excellence. Project manager experience may not be a deciding factor in choosing a research partner, but if you want to ensure a successful project, it is definitely worth thinking about!

Put Reckner’s PMs to the test with your next project! Contact us now to talk.

7 Tips for Conducting iHuts and CLTs with Kids

Posted inCLTs, iHUTs, Product TestingTags: , ,

They may be small, but their impact is huge. According to a recent survey

  • 87% of parents surveyed say their children influence their purchase decisions. 
  • Just about half (48%) of parents report that their children influence purchases specifically for the child, while more than one-third (36%) say their children influence purchases for the entire household. 
  • Further, 80% of the parents surveyed saying they involve their children in purchases more than their parents did with them.

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Posted inCLTs, iHUTs, RecknerTags: , , ,

Most of the time, marketing research is a great business. We have terrific, smart, creative clients who give us exciting and challenging projects. We have great respondents who are interested in helping businesses better meet their needs and improve products on the market. We work with companies of all sizes in a wide range of industries on existing brands and products that are new-to-the-market innovations.

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Get to Know Reckner Facilities Executive Director Peter Grubb

Posted inReckner

Peter Grubb has more than 30 years of market research experience. He started with Reckner as a part-time recruiter, then worked his way up to Facility Director for all three Reckner locations (New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee). Now, he is head of Business Development and Key Account Management for the Facilities Division. In that role, he supervises the operations of our facilities, as well as mentors younger project managers in customer service.

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Consumer Testing Alcoholic Beverages: Rules of the Road

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The market for alcoholic beverages is dynamic, with new products being introduced – and dismissed – rapidly. Take, for example, the hard seltzer market. In 2020, the market was growing like crazy (US hard seltzer sales to jump by 270% in 2020), and now – in 2021 –  experts are projecting that the hard seltzer boom is over (Hard seltzer boom goes flat), due to too many brands chasing too few customers.

It is no wonder that alcoholic beverage manufacturers cover their new product bets with significant amounts of consumer testing. However, testing alcoholic beverages with consumers has some unique requirements not found in testing other products or services. For example, each state has regulations governing the testing of alcoholic beverages. New York, for example, requires a permit for each sample you are going to test for each day you are running the test. To evaluate two samples of beer over four days would mean you would need to get eight permits. And those eight permit applications need to be submitted at least 30 days before the test occurs. Bottom line: no way you can test your alcoholic beverage in New York in a week!

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CLT, HUT, iHUT, etc. : What Are These and What’s Right For You?

Posted inCLTs, iHUTsTags: , , , , ,

The world of product testing has generated many acronyms. A simple Google search reveals the following:

  • CLT – central location test
  • HUT – home use test
  • iHUT – in-home use test

And then, to further complicate the matter, some sources say that the “U” in these acronyms stands for use, some say usage, and still, others say user. So, what is it?

The difference is minimal. Product testing happens in the consumer’s home or at a specially-designed testing location call a CLT facility (central location test facility).

Which is the best choice for your project? It depends, of course! Here are factors you should consider in choosing between CLTs and iHUTs:

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What to Look For in a CLT/iHUT Data Collection Partner

Posted inCLTs, iHUTsTags: , , , ,

All marketing research data collection partners are not equal, especially when you are conducting CLTs (central location tests) and iHUTs (in-home use tests).

CLTs and iHUTS often require a larger sample for quantitative results. They also tend to be very complex – fielding with a large number of people in one or more settings locally or nationally. While most data collection partners will say they can do these types of projects, it makes sense to delve deeper and ensure that you are choosing the right partner for your project.

We’ve developed a resource to help you navigate choosing the right CLT/iHUT partner and 10 red flags to look out for.

Click Here, to download our free Tip Sheet.

Sweating the Details for iHUT Success!

Posted iniHUTsTags: ,

Whether you call them iHUTs, HUTs, In-Home Usage tests, Home Use Tests, or even In-Home User tests, this methodology is very popular with the marketing research community. And for a good reason. Understanding and testing how consumers use a product in their home (or, in some cases, a home-like setting) can help manufacturers make final changes to the product, the packaging, and even the instructions, before launching the product to the market. However, iHUTs are challenging to execute correctly with many moving pieces. Your data collection partner must have an intense commitment to overseeing and managing every detail of the process.

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